So I picked up a used router on a whim and now I'm here - Router Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Default So I picked up a used router on a whim and now I'm here

Went to go buy another tool on Craigslist. While I was there, seller mentioned he had a router for sale (he was selling off stuff before moving). I kind of had in my mind that I'd like to get a router at some point because I don't have the space for a table saw, and figured a router plus my circular saw and miter saw would give me a fair bit of capability even in the absence of a table saw. I didn't know anything about routers other than a plunge router would offer more flexibility than a fixed router. So I took a look at his router and it's a plunge router, a Hitachi TR-12 (not that this meant anything to me, other than I've had good luck with Hitachi tools in the past) that he had mounted to a metal insert plate that was attached to a little table. I figured this setup would save me the hassle of doing something like this myself, and he was willing to take $80 for it, so I bought it.

Sorry, can't post pics yet because of noob status. Looks like I need 10 posts before I can post pics.

Anyway, after I brought it home, it dawned on me this router is a heavy little beasty and that it probably isn't suitable for hand routing and best left mounted under a table. I downloaded the manual, and it seems I'm missing a few things (this will be clearer once I can post pics); even the wrenches he gave me don't fit the collet. I don't think he was trying to deceive me; it seemed he hadn't used the router in years and probably just forgot where he kept the accessories if he even still had them. No big deal, I've got wrenches.

It does power on (always a good sign!), and since it comes with a metal insert and table that I can mount on a Workmate, I'm hoping I can put it into use without buying a bunch of parts, other than router bits, which I definitely need to get.

With that background, hello. I'm just a DIYer hoping to learn a little about how to use a router.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gn86 View Post
Went to go buy another tool on Craigslist. While I was there, seller mentioned he had a router for sale (he was selling off stuff before moving). I kind of had in my mind that I'd like to get a router at some point because I don't have the space for a table saw, and figured a router plus my circular saw and miter saw would give me a fair bit of capability even in the absence of a table saw. I didn't know anything about routers other than a plunge router would offer more flexibility than a fixed router. So I took a look at his router and it's a plunge router, a Hitachi TR-12 (not that this meant anything to me, other than I've had good luck with Hitachi tools in the past) that he had mounted to a metal insert plate that was attached to a little table. I figured this setup would save me the hassle of doing something like this myself, and he was willing to take $80 for it, so I bought it.

Sorry, can't post pics yet because of noob status. Looks like I need 10 posts before I can post pics.

Anyway, after I brought it home, it dawned on me this router is a heavy little beasty and that it probably isn't suitable for hand routing and best left mounted under a table. I downloaded the manual, and it seems I'm missing a few things (this will be clearer once I can post pics); even the wrenches he gave me don't fit the collet. I don't think he was trying to deceive me; it seemed he hadn't used the router in years and probably just forgot where he kept the accessories if he even still had them. No big deal, I've got wrenches.

It does power on (always a good sign!), and since it comes with a metal insert and table that I can mount on a Workmate, I'm hoping I can put it into use without buying a bunch of parts, other than router bits, which I definitely need to get.

With that background, hello. I'm just a DIYer hoping to learn a little about how to use a router.

Welcome to the forum.
That is a good router,and he has set it up as a router table. that is for doing work like a shaper, where your hands are on the work and the router is fixed.
You can also use this as a handheld router by either taking it off the plate and putting a base plate on it, or using the plate it is mounted on as the base plate.
You can post pictures from your computer anytime. Just go advanced at the bottom and click on manage attachments and list all the picture you want off your computer.
There will be members along soon to fill you in on everything you will need to know to get started. Ask all the questions you want, we are here to help you get started in the right direction.
Herb
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 09:47 PM
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Hi Gn and welcome. The only bad part of that TR12 is that has been discontinued for a while which may make some parts hard to find. I'm a fan of Hitachi routers and have had very good luck with them. I have the successor to that model, the M12V and I also have a V2 and the smaller VC. The big plunges are always a little awkward for doing handheld jobs with. An offset base helps make them more stable for hand held jobs and you can use the steel table plate for that as long as there is nothing on it that would scratch your work.

You are able to post pictures already, they just have to be stored on your own hard drive. Use the Advanced reply option and look for Manage Attachments. Go to full screen when that opens as there are buttons to click that won't be on the minimized screen.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 10:39 PM
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Glad you decided to join the fun. Nice you got a table in the deal, they are sooooo much safer and you can do most router tasks on the table, although at some point you might want to have a smaller router for freehand use. What you intend to make gives a clue about what bits to get. Good news is that Home Depot carries Freud bits, which are generally very good. Because HD is handy, you can buy as you need them. Stick with half inch shanks. I also suggest that if you can find it, order an extra collet or two for the day when they aren't available anymore. A collet is a precision device with tolerances of only a few thousandths of an inch, and they do go bad occasionally. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 11:11 PM
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Welcome to the forum.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 11:26 PM
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Hi Gn and welcome to the forum. Sounds like a good deal and start for you. I agree with Tom and others....leave it in the base and use it as a table router. Grab yourself another more suitable for hand routing.
Cheers, Tom.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 03:07 AM
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welcome N/A..
got some light reading for you at this link that may be of some use to you...
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 06:57 AM
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 06:59 AM
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 08:05 AM
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Hi Gn, and welcome.
Those Hitachi routers are real workhorses - I have had the baby brother for about 40 years (DIY use), am starting to think about changing the bearings.
1. Most of what you are missing may not be needed, if you stick to the table-mount mode (btw, the guy seems to have quite a nifty idea, using euro hinges to allow lifting the router up for bit changes). The pole you mentioned is need only for setting depth of plunge in hand-held mode, and you can improvise there - it is not that accurate. You are better off using a drill bit of the required diameter, to set the gap between the pole and the one of the stops on the rotating turret below. The machine screws are missing from the stops of the turret - no big deal, not needed for table-mount use, any suitable bolt with a nut threaded on it (to lock a depth setting) will do. Just allows you to reach a desired depth of cut in several passes.
2. The rods and side fence are available as after-market parts, probably better than the original, which was somewhat basic.. only needed for edge routing. There is another piece with a little bearing, used for routing curved edges, if you are into that sort of thing.
3. You have the 1/2” collet with a sleeve to reduce to 1/4” (there were also options for 3/8”). Collet on left, sleeve on right in your image. I second Tom- get another while you can. You may even be able to get a 1/4” collet, which does not require a sleeve. In any case, get another sleeve, they eventually need replacement.
4. That black rubber or plastic disk under the base (called the sub-base) does not look original to me - it probably won’t glide smoothly over wood if the machine is handheld, and the fixing bolts are standing a little proud. No big deal, if you cannot get an original replacement, you can make a perfectly serviceable one out of polycarbonate, and even better, extend it to one side as an offset base for better control, as suggested by Charles.
5. Get some spare motor brushes - the Hitachis have odd sizes. If you cannot find any, you may have to file down slightly larger OEM brushes.
6. The Hitachi bushing guides were not that wonderful in terms of concentricity, but if you want to get into template guided routing (and you should want to, in due course), you can either use bits with bearings on them (easy), or get or make the carrier for commonly-used bushings (like Porter-Cable, which until recently seemed to be the de facto standard in North America). You will see it in the manual as a small flat metal plate with two side holes for bolts to lock it into the base from below, and a large central opening into which different sizes of bushing can be installed (with a locking ring, supplied with a set of bushings). There may even be an after-market type available in your part of the world.
Happy routing - you will wonder how you managed without one up to now.
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Last edited by Biagio; 07-25-2019 at 08:08 AM. Reason: Autocorrect
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